For our first day in LaJolla, after inching through the traffic between the hotel and the coast, we finally found a place to park about a block from the beach.
First stop would be the Casa Beach to see the Harbor Seals. Here’s what the view looks like from street level (click to enlarge). Now remember this is right in town and less than a 5 minute walk from where we parked. Looks kinda like a normal beach, protected from the waves by the wall and walkway. What you may not notice is that there are Harbor Seals in the water and on the beach, just below the wall, past where all the people are. At certain times of the year, the whole beach is covered with seals, and this is also where they have their pups in the spring.
This harbor seal colony numbers approximately 200 seals. To learn more about this beach, the seals and the La Jolla Friends of the Seals that help out there, click here. It’s really quite interesting. There’s also some controversy between those that think the beach should be roped off to protect the seals year round and those that think humans should have access to the beach in the summer for swimming. If you’re interested in more info on that, visit “The Controversy” here.
We walked down on the beach and I pulled out my 300mm zoom lens so I could get some close-up shots of the seals without disturbing them physically. They’re so cute and lovable, but can seem to be aggressive when humans encroach on their space. While we were standing there, an adult seal moved away from the rest of the seals and toward some folks that were getting too close. She seemed to be chasing them away from the pups and other adult seals. Once everyone backed up, she went back to the group. I’m not sure what would have happened if the humans hadn’t moved, but suffice it to say that it’s important that we respect their habitat and honor their right to be there too. In the photo above you can see how close people were to the seals.
Here’s a group shot that shows the interesting range of color and pattern in their fur coats. They go from silver to black with all manor of combinations in between.
Look at the seal heading into the water in this one! And the brownish one lying on his back. He looks like your favorite dog begging to have his belly scratched. The sad thing about this photo is the water bottle tossed in the group of seals. Seriously, who in the world would do that? Sad enough that someone would throw it on the ground at all, but the fact that this could have been thrown directly at a seal is disgusting. Please teach your children that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. (getting off my soap box now…)
So after we left Casa Beach, we walked down a little way. Andrew and I did some wading at another stretch of beach while Terry and Amy looked on.
And while we were there, I used my “motherly expertise” to rescue a little boy who had encountered a serious issue. Check out this photo that Amy took. This little guy was maybe 8 years old and had been playing on the rocks at the beach. Somehow he managed to rip his trousers across the top of the back pocket and ALL THE WAY down his pant leg from top to bottom, so his underwear and rear end was showing. Fortunately he HAD underwear ON, but it was still pretty embarrassing, I’m sure. So Amy had a big safety pin and I managed to get the loose flap pinned to the top of his pocket enough so that everything wasn’t hanging out. It’s something only a mom would be allowed to do respectfully. I’m not sure where his mother was, but I would have hoped that someone would do the same for Kevin if he’d been wandering around like that when he was young. The little boy seemed to be appreciative, but still couldn’t find the shirt that he lost as well. Good thing he was having fun in the water, otherwise it could have been a ruined day for him.
Isn’t it amazing how, even as adults we’re fascinated by the interplay between waves and sand. I could sit and watch the ocean for hours. It’s so relaxing and refreshing…
You can see more photos that Amy posted from our adventures here too.
So, we’re about half way through the day at this point. The next post will be the rest of the afternoon.
What do you think about the ocean? Is it scary or intriguing to you? Having grown up right next to Lake Erie, large bodies of water don’t frighten me. I am a bit intimidated by the more dangerous creatures in the ocean though…like sharks and jelly fish and the like. And I’m not really fond of the salt water coating that’s left in your hair and on your skin after swimming in the ocean.
Let me know what you think about the ocean. Have you ever been to La Jolla? What’s your favorite thing to do there?